Today a groundbreaking ceremony will be held for the Taipei Pop Music Center (TPMC), marking the beginning of construction of the immense music venue. Commissioned by the Public Works and Cultural Affairs Department of the Taipei City Government and designed by Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture PC with local architects Fei and Cheng, the building is due to complete in 2015.

Located on the outskirts of Taipei, the TPMC encompasses a series of mixed-use volumes connected with interlocking bridges and public spaces for the enjoyment of Taiwanese pop music with a design ‘that reflects and supports the evolving culture of pop’.

The architects have created a form that retains its artificiality, integrated into the city fabric yet remaining architecturally distinct. Defined by three key volumes - the Main Hall, Hall of Fame and the Industry Shell - the TPMC is connected by an elevated public ground which links the northern and southern sites.

On the northern site visitors will find the Main Hall with a seating capacity of 5,000. The venue sports a series of entertainment spaces leading to an interior auditorium, all encased in a faceted fan-shaped façade. The Main Hall is linked to the southern site - where the majority of the venues are located - by a pedestrian walkway which culminates in a soaring staircase when it meets the southern site.

This staircase then opens out onto a performance courtyard of capacity 3,000 (standing) and the ability for impromptu seating on the grand staircase. Branching off from this courtyard are three ‘live houses’ and a number of restaurants and retail outlets, and, at the far end, an arching Industry Shell which provides a base for production facilities.

Also located on the southern site is a cube-shaped Hall of Fame, described as ‘the TPMC’s most ideal architectural form and also the most autonomous object elevated from the ground’. Housing four levels of exhibition space, the Hall of Fame is designed as a celebration of Taiwanese pop culture, incorporating a 300-seat lecture hall, research facilities, administrative offices and a café.

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